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Reith Lectures

Reith 2007


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The Lecturer: Professor Jeffrey Sachs

Professor Jeffrey Sachs Jeffrey D. Sachs is the Director of The Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University. From 2002 to 2006 he was also Director of the UN Millennium Project and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the Millennium Development Goals, the internationally agreed goals to reduce extreme poverty, disease, and hunger by the year 2015. Sachs is also President and Co-Founder of Millennium Promise Alliance, a non-profit organization aimed at ending extreme global poverty.

Professor Jeffrey Sachs is widely considered to be the leading international economic advisor of his generation. For more than 20 years he has been at the forefront of the challenges of economic development, poverty alleviation, and enlightened globalization, promoting policies to help all parts of the world to benefit from expanding economic opportunities and wellbeing. He is also one of the leading voices for combining economic development with environmental sustainability and as Director of the Earth Institute leads large-scale efforts to promote the mitigation of human-induced climate change.

He is internationally renowned for his work as economic advisor to governments in Latin America, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Asia and Africa and for his work with international agencies on problems of poverty reduction, debt cancellation for the poorest countries and disease control. He has also been an advisor to the IMF, the World Bank, the OECD, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Development Program. During 2000 and 2001, he was Chairman of the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health of the World Health Organization and from September 1999 until March 2000 he served as a member of the International Financial Institutions Advisory Commission established by the U.S. Congress.

Professor Sachs was named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2004 and 2005, and the World Affairs Council of America identified him as one of the 500 most influential people in the United States in the field of foreign policy. In February 2002 Nature Magazine stated that Sachs "has revitalized public health thinking since he brought his financial mind to it". In 1993 he was cited in The New York Times Magazine as "probably the most important economist in the world" and called in Time Magazine’s 1994 issue on 50 promising young leaders "the world's best-known economist". In 1997, the French magazine Le Nouvel Observateur cited him as one of the world's 50 most important leaders on globalization. His syndicated newspaper column appears in more than 50 countries around the world and he is a frequent contributor to major publications such as the New York Times, the Financial Times and The Economist magazine.

Professor Sachs's research interests include the links of health and development, economic geography, globalization, transition to market economies in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, international financial markets, international macroeconomic policy coordination, emerging markets, economic development and growth, global competitiveness and macroeconomic policies in developing and developed countries. He is author or co-author of more than two hundred scholarly articles and has written and edited many books, including the bestseller The End of Poverty (Penguin, 2005).

He is the recipient of many awards and honors, including membership of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Society of Fellows and the Fellows of the World Econometric Society. He is also the 2005 recipient of the Sargent Shriver Award for Equal Justice. He is a member of the Brookings Panel of Economists and the Board of Advisors of the Chinese Economists Society, among other organizations. He has received honorary degrees from many universities across the world. He has given lecture series at several distinguished institutions inlcluding Yale and the London School of Economics and the Universities of Oxford, Tel Aviv and Jakarta.

Prior to his arrival at Columbia University in July 2002, Professor Sachs spent over twenty years at Harvard University, most recently as Director of the Center for International Development and Galen L. Stone Professor of International Trade.

Jeffrey Sachs was born in Detroit in 1954. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from Harvard College in 1976, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1978 and 1980 respectively. He joined the Harvard faculty as an Assistant Professor in 1980 and was promoted to Full Professor in 1983.

Source: The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Audio Help


Lecture audio and transcripts will be available after each broadcast. Each lecture will be available as an MP3 download for 7 days after the first broadcast.

Lecture 1: Wednesday 11 April 2007, 9am
  • Bursting at the Seams

  • Lecture 2: Wednesday 18 April, 8pm
  • Survival in the Anthropocene

  • Lecture 3: Wednesday 25 April, 8pm
  • The Great Convergence

  • Lecture 4: Wednesday 2 May, 8pm
  • Economic Solidarity for a Crowded Planet

  • Lecture 5: Wednesday 9 May, 8pm
  • Global Politics in a Complex Age.


    You can use the following links to find out more about issues raised by the lectures:
  • Jeffrey Sachs
  • Climate change
  • UN and International Relations
  • Globalization
  • Poverty

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